Update: Post mortem has confirmed that the Miami cannibal was not high on bath salts, LSD or synthetic cannabinoids.
The USA yesterday booted a host of previously unregulated drugs in to the “schedule 1″ bracket. The move appears to be a knee-jerk reaction to recent events such as the “bath salt zombie attack”, believed by the police (apparently based upon nothing but pure guesswork) to be related to “bath salts”, the name euphemistically given to unscheduled drugs when it is not clear from the packaging what chemical(s) a drug contains. If you think that sounded confused, you’d be right – in classic McCarthyist style, a whole host of drugs have been banned despite there having been no research in to their effects whatsoever.
The newly classified schedule 1 drugs are as follows, effective October 1st 2012:
‘(i) 5-(1,1-dimethylheptyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (CP-47,497);
‘(ii) 5-(1,1-dimethyloctyl)-2-[(1R,3S)-3-hydroxycyclohexyl]-phenol (cannabicyclohexanol or CP-47,497 C8-homolog);
1-pentyl-3-(1-naphthoyl)indole (JWH-018 and AM678);
1-pentyl-3-[(4-methoxy)-benzoyl]indole (SR-19 and RCS-4);
1-cyclohexylethyl-3-(2-methoxyphenylacetyl)indole (SR-18 and RCS-8); and
It’s not surprising to see MDPV on the list, as MDPV is a primary culprit in many drugs marketed in the US as “bath salts”. MDPV, often likened to PCP, is a drug known for a range of thoroughly unpleasant side-effects. Some of the other drugs on the list are somewhat more surprising however. It is particularly bizarre to see the 2C* family described as “new” drugs by the US DEA, the 2C* family was of course first synthesised by Alexander Shulgin over three decades ago and has been known for its unusual blend of psychedelic and aphrodisiac qualities ever since. Like many psychedelics, the 2c* family is also known for its relatively low-risk toxicity profile (it is highly active at doses on the miligram range while relatively high doses have been reported with few ill effects). The US DEA have cited only one instance of overdose through improper use of 2c-E as justification for the ban of the entire 2c* family.
Paradoxically, the newly listed Schedule 1 drugs are to be defined as having:
“A high potential for abuse.. no medical use in treatment in the United States; and lack an accepted safety for use of the drug”
This is an ironic definition considering that not only is there a complete lack of human research for most of the drugs listed above, but now that these drugs are scheduled it is near impossible for US scientists, like UK scientists before them, to study these drugs to determine whether there could ever be a medical use for any of the drugs. It doesn’t take a genius to see how this vicious cycle could end badly. We will likely witness the chemicals above rapidly dumped on the underground market, to risk being mislabelled and sold as cutting agents. There is now little incentive for pharmaceutical companies to investigate relations of the drugs as they are now likely controlled under analogue legislation. Furthermore, there is now every incentive for underground drugs manufacturers to develop new drugs, with new unknown risks and contraindications, to be unleashed on the next generation of guinea pigs – and the self-defeating logic of the drug war once again prevails.
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